Any organization burdens the responsibility of ensuring that it’s IT infrastructure is so integrated that it encompasses the protection of proprietary information. The threat of being hacked by any given third party is very much real, especially because the internet is a large pool of virtually open data to all who have access to it.
Loss of critical data or inability to control one’s own equipment is the proverbial nightmare scenario. Should this data, if you are a government agency, fall into the hands of an unfriendly organization, it may very well have national security consequences. Because of market-based and other reasons mentioned, agencies and organizations are already cautious in handling proprietary information and integrating systems.
As the trend toward cloud computing continues, many questions continue to be asked about cloud security. Just how secure is “the cloud?” While it may be possible to see the economic and logistical benefits associated with cloud computing, no compromise is possible regarding the integral protection of valuable data. Large-scale and highly complex cryptography does exist but is it enough. In fact, there are many ways to address issues on security, which can include the role-based computing model for cloud security.
Role-based cloud security is an emerging capability and one that is sure to see integration at the highest levels of just about all organizations with large cloud implementations. Individual people are assigned levels of security based on their ability to access key information and the possible impact or the need they have on this information.
Thus, cloud-enabled organizations are now able to create, manipulate, manage, route, and even report access, use, and modifications of data within segregated or protected resources within a private or public cloud network. It should be noted that individuals are not assigned permissions directly but only due to their role in the appropriate data. Within an organization, the definition of a cloud role is constant, yet individuals may be assigned or reassigned to the role for flexibility, enhanced security, and logistical control.
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In developing protocols for cloud security, there are specific languages for authentication like Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), which are applied for authentication levels between related domains. Further layers of cloud security may be provided by LDAP integration and a host of other interrelated technologies.
An existing set of trusted user models may be defined and secured by integrating this protocol and extending it into a cloud scenario. In short, these specialized languages, of which there are several emerging, are used by the cloud security service provider to develop security-focused applications that work in partnership with cloud computing providers like Amazon or Rackspace.
Cloud security specialists often have an independent credentials system that is not accessible from the Internet directly. The access to specific portions of the security application related to key management, user accounts, or actual data is completely separate. Authentication and encryption credentials are established according to customer-specific encryption keys, and these keys are never stored within the file system or otherwise accessible.
The all-important keys are encrypted outside the cloud on an inaccessible server. This technology can maintain complete separation and organizations, which is enough assurance that any unwanted intrusion by a third party or any tools shall not be granted to your critical data. Cloud security will continue to evolve and improve and be of the highest priority to an enterprise that places security above all else.